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Compare ISY994i to Insteon Hub


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I was talking with a friend about getting him started with Insteon products.  He asked why I have an ISY994i rather than the much cheaper Insteon Hub.  I didn't have a good grasp on the differences other than the Hub only works with Insteon and the ISY also works with other formats such as Zigbee and IR signals.

Does anybody have a comprehensive comparison of their capabilities and features that a new user could review and make an informed decision?

 

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6 minutes ago, roadking2003 said:

I was talking with a friend about getting him started with Insteon products.  He asked why I have an ISY994i rather than the much cheaper Insteon Hub.  I didn't have a good grasp on the differences other than the Hub only works with Insteon and the ISY also works with other formats such as Zigbee and IR signals.

Does anybody have a comprehensive comparison of their capabilities and features that a new user could review and make an informed decision?

 

The Insteon Hub is a low budget entry pretty much Plug & Play controller. The ISY Series Controller is the next giant step for those who want to do more in terms of Home Automation. One is intended for the beginner while the other is for the enthusiasts who see's a long term road map of what they wish to accomplish. 

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There's no comparison. You are comparing apples to oranges. The hub is an entry level device for those wanting simplicity. It's great for basic on/off timers and to be used as a glorified remote for your house. 

The ISY is a full featured controller. It's for those who want the true automation experience. It achieves this by using conditional logic.

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I understand that at a high level the two devices are apples and oranges.   But does anybody have a feature comparison?  What specific features do you NOT have with the Hub?  And are there things the Hub does better than ISY?

If all he wants to do is control lights, what would the Hub be missing?  For example, does the Hub have conditional logic?

I would think that UD would have this list already documented.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, roadking2003 said:

I understand that at a high level the two devices are apples and oranges.   But does anybody have a feature comparison?  What specific features do you NOT have with the Hub?  And are there things the Hub does better than ISY?

If all he wants to do is control lights, what would the Hub be missing?  For example, does the Hub have conditional logic?

I would think that UD would have this list already documented.

 

 

 

 

UDI has never bothered with these promotional time consumers.

Simply put ISY is for Home Automation. SH Hub is for Home remote control and lacks most of the features for Home Automation. Vocal control is NOT Home Automation. Very cool and most of us use it but it is an input device similar to a keypad with millions of buttons.

Some examples a SH Hub cannot do.
If Thermostat is communicating and Heat is on and Heat is Running and temperature is less than My setpoint notify me by email and text message.
If KeyPad key sequence is ABCD turn off Away mode and set WiFi thermostats to Home schedules
If House Temperature is higher than Stat Setpoint and Humidity is Higher than Stat RH Setpoint and outside RH is Lower than Inside RH,  cycle HRV ventilation for a long period, otherwise cycle it for a short period.

 

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39 minutes ago, roadking2003 said:

I understand that at a high level the two devices are apples and oranges.   But does anybody have a feature comparison?  What specific features do you NOT have with the Hub?  And are there things the Hub does better than ISY?

If all he wants to do is control lights, what would the Hub be missing?  For example, does the Hub have conditional logic?

I would think that UD would have this list already documented.

 

 

 

 

I suggest you have your friend compare the features of each manufacturer's websites. They both list the features.

Once you get past remote control, scenes and schedules which they both do ISY leaves the insteon hub in the dust with these features:

1. Local control - Not web based. If your internet goes down ISY still works on your LAN.

2. Programs, Schedules, and Variables

  • Programs are easily created by simple mouse point and click
  • Create complex schedules using precise time, from/to, days, sunrise/sunset times, offsets, etc.
  • Create complex triggers based on the combination of schedules, any event (e.g. key press), and many other triggers
  • Use Variables to control the flow of programs
  • Complete support for Wait and Repeat constructs including Random values
  • Custom and user defined email and SMS Notifications to custom user groups

3. Optional add-on modules

Z-Wave: Gives you the ability to control Insteon and Z-Wave devices in the same controller.

Network Module : host your own personal web site or 3rd party applications right on your ISY, control network-enabled devices through ISY programs (TCP/UDP/HTTP/HTTPS), turn on PCs using Wake On LAN 

Climate Module): utilize local Weather information in your ISY programs through a Weather Service provider 

Electricity Module : monitor your home's real-time electricity use with a Brultech meter 

X10 Module :enhanced X10 support including integration of X10 devices into the device tree 

Irrigation Module: Let ISY calculate how much water is necessary for your plants based on Evapotranspiration (requires Climate Module) 

ELK Security Module:Seamlessly use ELK security system events in your ISY programs

 

IR Control (IR Models Only)

  • Control all your INSTEON/X10 devices with any infrared universal remote (RC5-compatible)
  • Control other network-enabled devices using our optional Network Module (RS-232 devices can be controlled using an ELK IP232 or Global Cache GC-100 and more)
  • Non IR models can be field upgraded to IR platform

It all comes down to the fact that ISY is just a more powerful controller that gives you far superior control of your home automation. The Insteon Hub is more about remote control and ISY is more about home automation with all the remote control features of the Insteon Hub.

When people first start thinking about home automation, in most cases they are really only thinking remote control. They purchase a controller that provides the remote control they want.. Once they start with remote control, it isn't long and many start thinking home automation. Then they discover, that controller they bought for remote control just won't give them the ability to automate their home like they want. 

 

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I think it is also important to understand exactly what you are comparing here. The actual Insteon Hub is just a Powerline/RF Modem (PLM) with a TCP/IP interface built in and some logic to connect to the cloud-based service. If Insteon would open up the API, the ISY could conceivably utilize the Hub instead of serial connected PLM, for example. What you are actually comparing is Insteon's cloud-based management website to the ISY device with built-in Admin Console. One concern I would have with the hub is where is Insteon going with it or what might happen to Insteon altogether?

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  • 4 weeks later...

While I have been an ISY user for a very long time and couldn't image living in my "automated" vs remote control house, using most of the ISY features, it is becoming very concerning that i now have at least two products that I have purchased from Insteon that the ISY won't recognize, siren and motion detector (did get this to be recognized with limited capabilities using manual additions).

 

While i have nothing but GREAT things to say about this community and Micheal K and UDI, it has now been ~18 months(?) since Insteon and ISY have begun to separate. Will this continue? When will V5.x be out in production form? Continued silence on this is making me lose sleep. 

 

i just purchased a new Wall outlet from Insteon and am a bit scared to install it for fear it also won't be recognized..... Where is this relationship going between UDI and smart home? 

 

thanks for all in the past, now we need to ensure the future is still there for all of us that have large installations / investments. 

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  • 7 months later...

Hi,

Sorry for opening an old topic.  I'm looking at the Insteon Motion Sensor II (https://www.smarthome.com/insteon-motion-sensor-ii-8-pack.html) and it says, "Note: Insteon Hub and Insteon for Hub app running on iOS or Android required for configuring motion sensor settings."  My question is, can this programming (configuration) be done via the ISY or must one use the Hub + App to configure the device?

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46 minutes ago, Derek Atkins said:

Hi,

Sorry for opening an old topic.  I'm looking at the Insteon Motion Sensor II (https://www.smarthome.com/insteon-motion-sensor-ii-8-pack.html) and it says, "Note: Insteon Hub and Insteon for Hub app running on iOS or Android required for configuring motion sensor settings."  My question is, can this programming (configuration) be done via the ISY or must one use the Hub + App to configure the device?

The isy can configure insteon devices. 

When it comes to non related topics, it's best to start a whole new topic so that others with the same question can easily find answers as well. The search feature can also take you to motion sensor topics should you want to post on an old thread about related subjects or find answers to questions. 

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46 minutes ago, lilyoyo1 said:

The isy can configure insteon devices. 

When it comes to non related topics, it's best to start a whole new topic so that others with the same question can easily find answers as well. The search feature can also take you to motion sensor topics should you want to post on an old thread about related subjects or find answers to questions. 

Thanks.  It's not a specific question about the motion sensor; it's a generic question about the Insteon Hub vs ISY.  This seemed the best thread to attach to.  I have similar questions about other Insteon devices, too (like the micro dimmer, etc).  They all say they can be programmed by the hub, and I wanted to know if the ISY can do the same.

 

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8 minutes ago, larryllix said:

ISY can configure Inateon devices unless they are too new. I dont know if any at this time.

Hub is basically a non home automation controller. ISY can automate based on multiple logic inputs.

Thanks.  That is the info I needed to know.  Finding documentation on this issue is... challenging :)

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19 minutes ago, Derek Atkins said:

Thanks.  It's not a specific question about the motion sensor; it's a generic question about the Insteon Hub vs ISY.  This seemed the best thread to attach to.  I have similar questions about other Insteon devices, too (like the micro dimmer, etc).  They all say they can be programmed by the hub, and I wanted to know if the ISY can do the same.

 

Insteon makes the hub while UDI makes the isy. This is why they only mention the hub in their documentation. The ISY isn't their device so they don't push it (even though it's way better)

 

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19 minutes ago, Brian H said:

Have you looked at the UDI Wiki?

It had full users manuals and other great information.

https://wiki.universal-devices.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

I have, but google for "isy994i program insteon device" and similar searches comes up with a dearth of information about what changes to devices can be made, or specifically the differences between what can be programmed with the Hub and what the ISY can do.  I know the ISY can do "more", but it's more of whether the Hub is a *strict subset* or not.  I.e., are there any things the Hub can do that the ISY cannot do?  And THAT information has been hard to find.

Thanks.

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